Who’s this rule for?
Is this rule supposed to make new fans? What? Why? It shortens a game by giving teams handicaps to have to deal with. The best non-continual play is the overtime set up in college football. It’s anxiety-driven. You have to do the same thing your opponent does but you don’t get to just start at the five-yard line. You still have to play the game traditionally, however, it’s just truncated. It also brings the aspect of a “shoot out” to the sport.
The NHL has a decent overtime measure but it’s not great for playoffs and that’s their shootout. The NBA just keeps playing but with a shorter game clock for the period.
So MLB’s great plan is to start a runner at second, who doesn’t have to earn that base, and then a single can end a game? Imagine if you set up a football team on the 20-yard line, but told them they only needed to get six yards to score a touchdown. That’s the nonsense we got going on with this rule.
If the league really wanted to do a fun and exciting post-nine-innings gameplay, why not just do a home run derby? Send your three best hitters up against a pitching machine, give each guy ten whacks, and whoever has the most home runs after both teams are done wins. If there’s a tie, you do it again, only with three different guys per team.
You wouldn’t count the home runs the players hit, you would just give the winning team an unearned run.
The problem with starting a runner-on-second rule is that you’re attempting to hasten a game that isn’t designed to be fast-paced. Imagine if for every penalty minute earned in a game, the game clock lessened by that amount. Two minutes for high sticking? Welp, two minutes less on the game clock for the period! Why? Why are you attempting to hasten the game?
At least by changing the format completely you’re tapping into something familiar, a homerun derby, and not trying to pretend that you’re keeping the same at its corp. Because you’re not. Keep in mind, this isn’t a rule being implemented to “protect players” either, as it’s been going on in the minors for years. It’s being done to quicken the pace of the game. A pace of the game that fans love, mind you. Those who don’t are going to be checking in because a game is suddenly fifteen minutes faster.
Don’t expect it to go anywhere either. This rule will be here to stay. It’s what the Majors have been wanting to do for a while. Now they can.